Autism-focused Research Assistant Opening - Study of emotions and behavior in psychiatric inpatients with autism - Pittsburgh

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Autism-focused Research Assistant Opening - Study of emotions and behavior in psychiatric inpatients with autism - Pittsburgh

The Regulation of Emotion in ASD Adults Children and Teens (REAACT) Lab ( at the University of Pittsburgh is seeking a full-time research assistant who is able to start as soon as possible. The position will provide support to for the Autism and Developmental Disorders Inpatient Research Collaborative (ADDIRC), which is a multi-site study of psychiatric inpatients with ASD. To read about what our study is doing to fill gaps in our understanding of those severely affected by autism, see this news story:

We are seeking someone motivated, reliable, hardworking, and with leadership skills. The research assistant must be organized and able to effectively manage multiple tasks. Prior research experience and experience with autism is preferred. A minimum two-year commitment is preferred due to the amount of training involved. The research assistant will gain a variety of research skills and work closely with the inpatient treatment team. The research assistant must be comfortable working within the inpatient environment, where patients are primarily admitted due to aggressive or self-injurious behavior. The research project assistant will be responsible for managing day to day activities for the project, including:  

• Work with clinical staff to identify eligible participants and administer questionnaire eligibility measure
• Obtain written informed consent and assent when applicable
• Track enrollment of participants and progress of data collection
• Collect data during the child’s inpatient stay, which will include administration of intelligence/cognitive tests with patients, questionnaires with parents, and pulling relevant data from the child’s clinical chart
• Maintain reliability in measure administration, including attendance at a research assistant training in Maine in fall 2018
• Help acclimate the child to wearing a biosensor on the wrist to collect physiological and movement data
• Observe the child for 1-4 hour periods of regular activity on the unit while the child is wearing the biosensor and record the onset and offset of disruptive behavior including aggression on a mobile app
• Assist (but not administer) in collection of blood samples from the child with ASD and his/her biological parents (e.g. coordinate the blood draw, accompany/escort the family, and oversee its safe shipment); If families are not willing to provide a blood sample, offer saliva sample or cheek swab options and assist in collecting this data
• Contact biological parents who are not local to discuss the possibility of participating to provide a biosample
• Manage and dispense participant payments to parents who provide a biosample
• Assist in IRB modifications and renewals
• Enter study data into a secure database
• Become reliable in the coding of previously collected structured temperament task data from inpatient participants, and complete coding of video recorded assessments in ELAN
• Participant in weekly supervision with the study investigator as well as collaborate with all unit leadership
• Attend study team meetings, and participate in phone calls, and treatment team meetings as required

For questions or if you are interested in applying, please contact Dr. Carla Mazefsky at

Use this link to apply:

Carla A. Mazefsky, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Director, Regulation of Emotion in ASD Adults, Childrens, & Teens (REAACT) Research Program